Field, Hartry H(amlin) 1946-
FIELD, Hartry H(amlin) 1946-
PERSONAL: Born November 30, 1946, in Boston, MA; son of Donald T. (a lawyer) and Adelaide (an editor; maiden name, Anderson) Field; children: Elizabeth. Education: University of Wisconsin, Madison, B.A., 1967; Harvard University, M.A., 1968, Ph.D., 1972.
CAREER: Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, assistant professor of philosophy, 1970-76; University of Southern California, Los Angeles, associate professor, 1976-81, professor of philosophy, 1981-91; City University of New York, New York, NY, Graduate Center, distinguished professor of philosophy and Kornblith chair, 1991-97; New York University, New York, NY, professor of philosophy, 1997—.
MEMBER: American Philosophical Association, Philosophy of Science Association.
AWARDS, HONORS: Grants from National Endowment for the Humanities, 1972-73, and National Science Foundation, 1979-80 and 1982; Guggenheim fellowship, 1979-80; Lakatos Award, 1986, for Science without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism.
Science without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism, Basil Blackwell (Cambridge, MA), 1980.
Realism, Mathematics, and Modality, Basil Blackwell (Cambridge, MA), 1989.
Truth and the Absence of Fact, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2001.
Contributor to books, including Philosophy of Mathematics Today, edited by Matthias Schirn, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998; Truth in Mathematics, edited by H. Garth Dales and Gianluigi Oliveri, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 1998; New Essays on the A Priori, edited by P. Boghossian and C. Peacocke, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2000; Liars and Heaps, edited by Beall and Glanzberg, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2003; Deflationism and Paradox, edited by Beall and Armour-Garb, Oxford University Press (New York, NY), 2003; One Hundred Years of Russell's Paradox: Logical Philosophy Then and Now, edited by Godehard Link, Walter de Gruyter (New York, NY), 2003. Also contributor to Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics. Contributor of numerous articles to philosophy journals, including Philosophical Review, Mind, Philosophy of Mathematics Today, Journal of Philosophical Logic, and Journal of Philosophy.
SIDELIGHTS: Hartry H. Field once told CA: "A general theme throughout my work is the development of a scientific metaphysics and an account of the place of thought, reasoning, and values within such a metaphysics." Field is a professor of philosophy at New York University, where he teaches courses on logic and the philosophy of logic, metaphysics, causation, and mind and language issues.
Hartry's goal in Science without Numbers: A Defence of Nominalism, according to Times Literary Supplement critic Geoffrey Hunter, is to demolish the traditional argument that the existence of mathematical entities is necessary to an understanding of the physical world and to the science of physics. Field's view, Hunter wrote, is "that there is no need to postulate mathematical entities, or to regard mathematical claims about them as true, in order to pursue science." The author believes that, though mathematics provides convenient symbols for working with physical theories and concepts, the same scientific conclusions can be reached without the use of numbers. Even if numbers are used, he adds, it is not necessary to assume that the mathematical theories are true. They work equally well when mathematical entities are treated as fictions.
Truth and the Absence of Fact consists of thirteen essays on philosophical topics in language, epistemology, and mathematics. A Directory of American Scholars writer described this work as containing "outstanding insight" on these topics.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Directory of American Scholars, 10th edition, Gale (Detroit, MI), 2001.
Times Literary Supplement, February 20, 1981.*